It’s summer. Where I live that means it’s fucking hot – really fucking hot. We don’t go to church, we worship the AC repairman. We are either in a pool or a heavily air-conditioned building. And, we bitch about the heat. Just like you may complain about your spouse who has had some random habit that was charming at first and is now the most annoying thing on the planet – we complain about het place we’ve chosen to live. We complain that 3-4 months out of the year, it feels like we’re living on the surface of the fucking sun and may also complain if the AC is too cold.
Despite the heat, This has been a great summer. I’ve been lucky to have spent time with great family and friends. Last month, my family celebrated a big event – my niece and nephew celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah (total side note: I laugh like a 13-year old boy when my sister sends me pics of said event with the subject line “BM”. Even typing that made me giggle. I’m embracing my immaturity.)
For four days last month, I was surrounded by family and friends that feel like family. It was the first time since my mom died that me, all my siblings and our families came together. We were so lucky to be joined by Bumsie and her husband – you see Bumsie is daughter to the original Big Susan. Having her there felt so right. I cried when I heard she was coming, cried when I saw her and when I said goodbye. It was a great time but not without bittersweet moments. There were countless times throughout the weekend when we deeply missed mom, dad, Jack – and Big Susan. Such a momentous occasion seemed wrong without their presence and we found comfort in one another and our memories. Oh, the stories we told. Lots of kudos and deep thanks to Mini-Mom and her hubby, the Gardener, for pulling off such a nice weekend. I’d like to think that mom and Big Susan had the best seats and were there with us every moment.
It was hard to end such a great weekend – certainly makes me miss my family even more but I had much to look forward to. An old friend was coming to visit – we had talked about it for years, put it off and kept saying “one day…” One day finally arrived and I spent the last four days in great company. My dear friend, Runner, came out to visit with her daughter, SmartyPants. We got to visit and watch our girls get to know one another. I’m not sure which we enjoyed more.
I met Runner at 14 or 15. I can’t remember – my mind is sieve so please don’t hold it against me. What I do know is that despite the fact that it had been too many years, our time together was easy and natural and we want more. We were as comfortable talking about big serious topics as we were about recipes and gas. We laughed about who we were and who we have become. We missed our mothers together, shared family drama and tummy troubles. She loves me despite my flaws and I love her despite the fact she has perfect hair (seriously, she can get out of a pool, run her fingers through her hair and it looks perfect enough to go out to dinner while my head looks like a longer, redder brillo pad.) Our girls laughed together and we got to know each other’s daughters. I see so much of her in her daughter – in her brains and her beauty. Mini-me was enchanted with SmartyPants right away and I’m certain will now embrace the thick straight hair they have in common.
Our days were full yet I can’t remember a weekend when I was so relaxed. We movied, we day-tripped, we ate, we drank, we resorted and we caught up. Maybe the exhaustion hasn’t hit me yet or maybe I’m still on the friendship high from the weekend. Aside from the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona – I took few pictures. I spent less time capturing the moment and more time living in the moment.
Next up, Mini-me heads to camp and I get four days with my Big Susan, Neiman – on her turf. No doubt it will be another great long weekend. I'm once again reminded that time with friends and family should not be put off - relish the laughs, shrug off the annoyances and revel in the connection. I feel like I’m spoiling myself with all this friends and family stuff this summer – we should all be so lucky.